Topper's Blog: Super Computer, Tide

10:37 PM, Jul 29, 2013   |    comments
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Roll Tide Roll

Forecasters rely heavily on super computers that process tremendous amounts of data several times a day spitting out computer forecasts. The faster the computers the more data can go in and the more accurate the forecast. The computer that crunches the European model out (ECMWF) was faster than our super computers in the states. We're are catching up. The new super computer from NOAA named 'Tide' can make 213 trillion calculations per second !

Louis W. Uccellnini, Ph.D., director of the National Weather Service has long been a pioneer and champion of modeling the atmosphere and then mathematically arriving at a forecast says: "These upgrades are a game-changer for the entre public and private weather industry. In addition to the benefits to our own forecasters and products, we will provide our private sector partners with better information to empower them to enhance their services."

'Tide', located in Reston, will improve the daily forecasts as well as the hurricane and tropical forecasts. The algorithm and physics have been improved that translate into a fifteen percent improvement of the track of the tropical systems. The improvements only work if the computer is fast enough to make the calculations in a timely manner. Another boost in computing power should occur in the summer of 2015 with another round of funding. After this increase our computers should be equal to or even surpass those in Europe.

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